Originally written January 03, 2012 on Fox Sports South:
Kentucky is shooting over 48 percent from the field and averaging better than 81 points a game, which is 32 more than its opponents, and that makes it awfully easy to overlook the Wildcats at the other end of the court. But it is their play at the defensive end that is making a big difference for the Wildcats this season. For one thing, it helped them overcome a 29.8 percent shooting and 20 turnovers to post their 69-62 win over Louisville on the last day of 2011. Forcing the Cardinals into tough shots, the Wildcats held the visitors to just 32.3 percent shooting, including a meager 22.2 percent (4-of-18) from three-point range. "You love winning games like that because there are going to be games that that happens," coach John Calipari said. "You're just not going to shoot the ball well. "Teams are going to muck it up. They're going to triangle-and-two, box-and-one, something you haven't seen, and all of a sudden you look confused, can't make a shot. "You defend and rebound and you win anyway, and that's what we want to do." The Wildcats were leading the nation in field-goal percentage defense going into the game, holding opponents to just 35.2 percent. That mark dropped to 35.0 percent after the victory. The win was the fifth in a row for the Wildcats since their one-point loss at Indiana back on Dec. 10. In improving to 13-1, the Wildcats had one more non-conference game remaining, against Arkansas-Little Rock on Jan. 3, before opening SEC play at home against South Carolina on Jan. 7. NOTES, QUOTES Freshman F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist continued his outstanding play, coming up one rebound short of a 20-20 game in the win over Louisville. He led Kentucky in scoring with 24 points and had 19 rebounds. It was his seventh straight game scoring in double figures and his second double-double of the season. "He wasn't bothered as much as some of the other players by the physical play," coach John Calipari said. "He almost relished it and just went after it, and that's why he played the way he did." Sophomore F Terrence Jones has played in the last two games after sitting out the wins over Samford and Loyola-Md. before Christmas with a dislocated finger. He had nine points and six rebounds in the 86-64 win over Lamar on Dec. 28 and only two points but 11 rebounds against Louisville. "With it being swollen and getting so much contact, any games with me trying to box out and use my hands so much, plus it being my left, sometimes it hurts a lot," Jones said of the injured pinky. "I still just want to play and rebound and do the other things. "When the game is on the line I'm not going to care about the pain." By beating Louisville, Kentucky extended its home winning streak over non-conference opponents to a national-best 44 games in a row. The Wildcats are 43-0 overall under coach John Calipari in Rupp Arena. BY THE NUMBERS: 10 -- Kentucky forced its 10th shot-clock violation by an opponent this season in the win over Louisville, matching its total for all of last season. QUOTE TO NOTE "A lot better. Me and everybody else on the team, we're hungry." -- Freshman F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, asked how much better Kentucky can get.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Wildcats News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.